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10 Creative ways to earn cash to cover the costs of your retreat

Being in retreat ministry we often get asked for scholarships. It is something we completely understand and want to help people when needed, however we run a very lean ministry and have only a small amount of funds available to give out each year. With this in mind, we only give out partial scholarships based on need and availability. We often hear from women that they still can’t come up with enough money to cover their registration. On our website we have listed a few options for making up that difference, however in this article we want to talk about creative ways you can earn the cash to pay for the rest, or even all of it if it goes well.

1) Get a second job – I know this can be overwhelming for many people, but it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Decide what retreat you want to attend, and then figure out how much you will need to work to be able to cover those costs. You can work as often or as little as needed based on those desires. You might be able to find a job you can do once a month, or once a week, depending on how soon the retreat is. If you want to just get it over with, then look for temporary jobs that pay you at the end of the term. Often there are department stores, coffee shops, and corporations that need seasonal, or temporary work. A great option is to enlist with a temp agency and apply only for the jobs that are good fit to your schedule. Another awesome choice if you have your bachelor’s degree is to sign up to be a sub through your local school district. Then you can choose the days that work for you, without over committing at one time.

2) Get Crafty – For those craftier folks, there can be an abundance of opportunities to sell homemade gifts, and decorations. Whether that is on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, or even at your local coffee shop, if you are a talented crafter, don’t hesitate to explore your options of selling some of your handmade treasures.

3) Babysit – Babysitting isn’t just a teenager’s job anymore; it is still a great way to earn some extra cash. Every time I turn around there are people looking for trusted babysitters and nannies. Offer to your friends, post in your local community page, make a flyer for your church to hang in children’s ministry, or apply through an online nanny service and start earning the money you need to attend.

4) Yard work Pays – Whether your friends and neighbors are too busy or too old, there are an abundance of people looking for someone to help out with their yard. Make yourself available, hang signs, tell your friends. Whether it is tilling a garden, pulling weeds, raking leaves, or shoveling snow, there is always something that is needed done around you. Work hard to play hard.

5) Clean houses – If working outside isn’t your thing, maybe taking up some house cleaning would be a good fit for you. Again, start by letting people know you are doing it and see if you can secure a few jobs to earn some extra cash.

6) Professional Organizer – If you want, take your cleaning skills to the next level and offer to organize people’s spaces. Whether it is closets, cubies, counters, or whole houses, lots of people will pay for the spaces to be set up with sustainable organization. Not everyone is talented in this department, but if you are, don’t hesitate to put your skills to work.

7) Walk Dogs – After Covid it seems everyone has a dog that needs walking. There are businesses you can sign up with, or you can just freelance, but the reality is people will pay big money to have their little pooch cared for. Let your friends and neighbors know you are excited to help them out and you may have enough cash to cover your costs in no time.

8) Clean up after pets – If walking isn’t your thing, then maybe cleaning up after dogs and cats will be a better fit. More and more people are hiring individuals and companies to come in and clean up after their messy family members. Picking up poop in the yard or changing a litter box can be an undesirable tasks that people will pay big money to have taken care of for them. So, if you don’t mind getting a little dirty, then let your community know you are available for hire and I am sure you will have the funds in no time, and maybe even a little extra to shop at our boutique.

9) House/Pet Sit – If you are able to sneak away from your own home or able to bring animals home with you, there is a huge need for house and pet sitters. Just one or two of these opportunities could cover all of your costs for a retreat. Check your schedule and see what weeks work for you and then put your name out there. You may be surprised how quickly you fill up.

10) Donate Plasma – Most larger cities have donation centers that will pay you for your precious blood. People who donate plasma can make hundreds of dollars per month while sitting and reading. If you don’t have any major health concerns and aren’t bothered by needles, then give it a try. Not only will you be saving cash to attend a retreat, but you could be saving a life as well.

While retreats can be quite expensive, there are a lot of great options for helping you cover those costs. Get creative, think outside the box, and start earning yourself a spot. You will be so glad you did.

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